Sunday, 20 July 2014

A Parisian Bank Holiday




So, as you may have guessed by the recent lack of posts here, I have been busy settling into my new life in Paris. but fear not, I have a few lifestyle posts coming up for your beady little eyes! It's been pretty hectic trying to settle into a new job role, settle into a new language and spending lots of my free time visiting the bank and other boring places where things never seem to work first time round. But enough of my excuses: I've been having lots of fun here too! The weather is absolutely gorgeous at the moment, to the point where I've had to invest in a fan - so things could be worse!

Unfortunately despite the gorgeous surroundings I have still been pretty rubbish with my photography, so today I thought I'd bring you a little montage of phone pictures I took of the bank holiday weekend here last week. For those of you who don't know, 14th July is a national holiday for France known as 'Bastille Day'. There's a whole lot of history behind it, which I will leave you to google for yourself, but every year it is a celebration of national pride in France.





My boyfriend Phil is here visiting at the moment, so we got to spend the whole day together. We decided to take it easy in the morning, which meant we didn't get to see the parade, but we wanted to join in the the celebrations later in the evening instead. This was the perfect excuse to enjoy some of the quieter areas of Paris during the daytime. After a lazy morning, we started our afternoon with a trip to a little restaurant in the fifteenth arrondissement. Although they were out of the strawberry tart we originally went to the restaurant for, we shared what has to be one of the best burgers to have ever graced our taste-buds. It was a juicy, cheesy delight. The sun wasn't bad either - I felt like a proper Parisian sat out in my sunglasses!

Walks in the Paris sunshine really are wonderful, and although there is plenty of beautiful architecture around the city, sometimes it's nicer to enjoy some of the green areas when you do find them. This little walk was pretty idyllic. We could enjoy the shops that were open on one side, as well as the sight of all the families that were picnicing on the grass on our other side, all while we stayed cool in the shades of the trees. In fact, I think that this would make a pretty nice running route!

Speaking of shops, we happened upon a little Japanese p√Ętisserie that was open. While they didn't have my tarte aux fraises that I've been craving for a few weeks now, these macarons hit the spot quite nicely. Can you believe that in a month of living here I hadn't had one yet? Even McDonalds sells them here, for goodness sake!

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After a couple of hours to recharge back at the flat, we were good to go again. There was a free concert near the Eiffel Tower which we were headed for. To be honest, we didn't have any idea what to expect, but we went along all the same and were greeted by a stage filled with a full orchestra, and thousands and thousands of people. Thankfully there were screens showing what was going on dotted around, and we managed to find a quieter area to stand and watch. I don't think that I could have enjoyed the concert much more. There were orchestral pieces and lots of choral solos and duets; the singers were fantastic. However, Phil and I were a little confused at some of the music choices - Land of Hope and Glory was played at one point, as well as Star Wars... Maybe we were missing something?

The evening finished off with a beautiful display of fireworks. I absolutely love fireworks, and the image of the Eiffel Tower illuminated in a colourful sky is something I hope to remember forever. The fireworks continued on our walk home, which was another experience in itself. The still, muggy Paris streets in the light of the fireworks seemed like a far cry from home in England. It truly was one of those moments I wanted to freeze in time. Thank goodness for Instagram, eh?!

What's your favourite thing to do on a bank holiday?
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